Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Think it's tough in Charlotte?



In Dallas, police write $204 traffic tickets to drivers who don't speak English.

Thirty- eight motorists, all Hispanic, have been cited for not speaking English since 2007, according to the Dallas Morning News. It’s not a crime, but at least 20 Dallas police officers must have thought it was since they wrote tickets. Most cases were dismissed, but at least one person paid the fine.

The issue came to light last week when a woman told the news media she was cited for being a "non-English-speaking driver," among other offenses, during an Oct. 2 traffic stop, according to the paper. Police officials initially said the trainee officer who ticketed Ernestina Mondragon, 48, a native Spanish speaker and U.S. resident, had made an isolated rookie mistake.

Nope.

On Friday, Police Chief David Kunkle announced that officials had discovered dozens of other cases in which officers cited motorists for not speaking English. Kunkle apologized, promised an investigation and said that pending charges would be dropped and that those who paid fines for the charge would be reimbursed.

Not surprisingly, Hispanic leaders are calling for a deeper investigation of possible racial profiling. Police say they plan to look back several more years and include the supervisors who signed off on the tickets in the investigation for possible dereliction of duty.

No doubt, this issue is going to raise even more questions about the how local law enforcement should deal with immigrants. A New York Times editorial yesterday noted that on one side of the argument are the Obama administration and the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, who believe in outsourcing immigration enforcement to local police departments. On the other side are the ranks of police chiefs around the country who argue there is no good reason for turning cops into immigration agents. The Times agreed, but for entirely different reasons.

Such efforts up to now "have been marred by poor training, racial profiling and other abuses -- and widespread fear in the communities that the police are sworn to protect,” the editorial board wrote. “If there is any remaining doubt, just take a look at what happened in Dallas.”

AP Photo: Ernestina Mondragon.

26 comments:

Vicente Duque said...
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darkferi said...
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darkferi said...

I see absolutely nothing wrong with citing someone who is driving and unable to speak English. If illegals or otherwise want to live here, they need to learn English. Why is that so difficult for them?

It would be nice if the hispanics griping about this issue thought about what is conveyed to legal American citizens who are forced to learn Spanish while the illegal hispanic population refuses to learn English. To me, you're telling me that you're either not smart enough to learn another language or just lazy.

Either way, you shouldn't be here and you know it. Comprende? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Jeezus Christ, what the HE(( was THAT?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"In Dallas, police write $204 traffic tickets to drivers who don't speak English"

Awesome.

If someone chooses not speak English, or learn English in an English speaking nation logic says they can not "read" English either, IE: TRAFFIC SIGNS, etc...

I feel less "sorry", and less empathy for these people every time there is a post in this column.

dpod said...

My mom is from Colombia. She came over here legally and she learned the language. She, along with myself, are sick and tired of all of these illegals who come over here abuse the system and then have some liberal lawyer to take care of them. It's got to STOP. People who have licenses should be able to read and write in english at least at an 8th grade level

Anonymous said...

You do realize that the USA does attract tourists from all around the world who do not speak the English language. How would you feel if you were vacationing in Germany, France, or Spain and were given a ticket for not speaking their language? It takes time for an immigrant to learn the English language - you cannot expect them to learn it in a year. I'm sure most of us have taken a foreign language in school...was it easy to learn and retain? Lets be compassionate and assist our fellow citizen's to learn the English language and not assume they are all hispanic and illegal immigrants.

Vicente Duque said...
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barkomomma said...

"a woman told the news media she was cited for being a 'non-English-speaking driver'"

I doubt that seriously if she were a non-English speaker. More like 'el blah blah est blah blah en blah blah, senior'

Algernon said...

"People find it difficult to perceive Greatness"

People find greatness a wonderful thing, and recognize it like the sun moon, and sea.

Your problem duque, is that obama isn't all that great.

Franco Ordonez said...

Guys,
I appreciate all the comments, but please keep the comments brief and on topic. I understand the desire to promote work on your own blogs. Feel free to comment on the issue and add a link, but I can't continue to allow people to simply copy and paste long articles from their own blogs or other sources.
Thanks.
Franco

Susan said...

If someone chooses not speak English, or learn English in an English speaking nation logic says they can not "read" English either, IE: TRAFFIC SIGNS, etc...

If you've taken a foreign language class you'd know that it's easier to read a language than speak it. I can read some Spanish, but when it comes to speaking the language my tongue twists.

Anonymous said...

For the life of me I don't know why the Charlotte Observer continues trying to stuff illegals rights down out throats.

I dislike illegals. Why? They are ILLEGAL!!. In Rock Hill I see many companies such as insulation and nurseries that almost exclusively hire illegals. And the politicians turn a bind eye to it. The employers don't pay SS tax or take out IRS tax for the employees.

I stopped taking the CO because of their love affair of illegals. I suggest everyone else do the same. Also complain to their advertisers.

peregrino said...

You are being ironic, right? You are only pretending to not be able to read English while claiming to support issuing tickets to people who don't speak English, right?

For those who do not get the intentional buffoonery of some of these posters, allow me to point out that except to say that Ms. Mondragon is a resident, THERE IS NO REFERENCE TO THE IMMIGRATION STATUS of the people illegally cited by these renegade police officers.

Fortunately, there is no legal requirement to speak English in this country, or even to read English well enough to realize that that your pet obsession is off topic.

darkferi said...

peregrino, the fact that it's appeared on THIS blog means there's a very high likelihood that the recipients of the tickets are illegals. Even if they're not, they should be able to speak English. The Constitution and our laws are written in English, not Hi-spanic.

Daniel said...

Pretty Cool Franco! Didn't know you actually read our posts! So please explain to me why you feel the need to find and write about these "Horrific" stories from the Latin community? All we want are murderers behind bars, speeders ticketed, and those who live here illegally deported. It's just the law of the land we live in. Why would you try to debunk one and not the others?

Anonymous said...

This is an outrage. They should go back to their own country where they don't have to put up with this kind of tyranny.

B.Lane said...

I feel like a lot of commenters are missing an important point here... people were being cited and fined for something that is not actually a crime. THAT is the issue. NOT immigration, illegal aliens, English, or anything else.

Regardless of how you feel about those issues or who the people were, I HOPE you have a problem with police issuing tickets for something that is not actually a crime! Take the issue and apply it to something in your life. Let's say you were pulled over and the officer noticed you had on a red shirt. It's not a crime to drive wearing a red shirt, but the officer issued you a citation for it anyway. Wouldn't you have a problem with that?

Anonymous said...

You do know that we do not have a national language don't you?

Anonymous said...

"I see absolutely nothing wrong with citing someone who is driving and unable to speak English. If illegals or otherwise want to live here, they need to learn English. Why is that so difficult for them?"

Exactly correct!...Why is it so hard for some especially (Liberals) to understand the word Illegal? Either way..If one plans on living in a country..be legal..learn the Language....and Throw away the victim mentality...Its old and people are wise to it.

modom said...

Bienevendos Estados Unidos, habla Ingles! If I can learn spanish they can learn english. No excuses.

Anonymous said...

Fact is...if you can't read English and read traffic signs you should be ticketed. I don't want you on the road trying to kill me by not knowing what signs say.
Same for me in another country. When I go to Europe or Asia I have to learn enough of that language to get myself around....
If you can't learn the language(at least enough to drive and get around) in a particular country then get out and go back to where you can understand the language. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Keep on writing them up. Maybe they will get the message, and go back over the border!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

the harder you hit a cue ball the more english you get. same rule applies here

dmnorman said...

Wow....just, wow. Almost no one here seems to be troubled by the fact that the police were as a matter of practice writing tickets and collecting fines for something that is not illegal. That is significantly more un-American than not speaking English. Regardless of what you think people should or should not do, it is in fact legal to live in the US, and drive in the US, without speaking English. Don't like it? Fight to change it.

It is, however, stunningly illegal for law enforcement officials to make up crimes that do not exist and penalize people for it. It is also scary. Very scary. Maybe everyone on all sides of the English-speaking argument should stop pointing their weapons at each other long enough to realize that no one wins when the police can get away with this.